Chris Nekvinda
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Chris Nekvinda

Danielsville, Georgia, United States

Danielsville, Georgia, United States
Band Folk Acoustic

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You can call him "jangly" or "rootsy" if you like, just don't call Cleveland singer-songwriter Chris Nekvinda trendy. The cosmopolitan-cool found in Nekvinda's Midwestern folk sound is merely a side-effect of character development and sincerity. Nekvinda's style owes as much to Boston as it does to Austin - evidenced by last year's semi-live EP, People Like You. His new, full-length release Picture Show is not a note-for-note redux of that disc, but it does feature more fleshed-out and realized versions of the best tunes from People. His songs are filled with wounded idealists, rustbelt denizens and yearning souls filling in road diaries as they enjoy blue plate specials. As with People, each character's testimony takes on the glowing hum of fading streetlights at dusk. Yet there's always a glimmer of hope in everything Nekvinda writes. The arrangements are tight and his voice sounds stronger than they have in the past - particularly "Drink Another Round," the reverent "Lost in America" and chiming "Faith." And in the couple instances where he vocally veers off-key, it's totally within the character he is singing from (see the pint-glass contemplation "Darwin"). If you're the type that digs the No Depression sound, but longs for a little more hopefulness, then Nekvinda's yarns should be right up your alley. The guitar playing is delicate and the mix is never overwhelming - it transmutes any frustrations the characters have into a moment of melodic clarity. The full-blown arrangements of his songs are filled with contemplative beauty. Accompaniment clearly translates well in the studio and the live setting for him. He cites Ellis Paul and Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket) as influences, but Nekvinda's postcards have a sweet, low-down feeling that owe as much to Cheryl Wheeler, BoDeans, Richard Shindell and Peter Stuart. http://www.ChrisNekvinda.com
from Cool Cleveland contributor Pete Chakerian peter_chakerian@yahoo.com - Cool Cleveland


Entertainment is not only an art, it is a business. Cleveland singer/songwriter Chris Nekvinda knows that via being the co-founder and artistic director of the Brick Alley Theatre in Cleveland from 1998 to 2000. On the music front, Nekvinda now has his first 10 track disc out, titled "Picture Show." OhioOnline music correspondent Peanuts threw some questions at him regarding the journey so far.


OO: How did it all start for you?
CN: "I have played music ever since I can remember, third or fourth grade. I love listening to music. Hearing Simon & Garfunkel as a child was an inspiration. As I grew up, many Boston singer/songwriters influenced me even more. Ellis Paul has been a primary influence in my music."
OO: Are you a native of the area?
CN: "I was born and raised in beautiful downtown Parma and went to Benedictine High. I currently live in the West Park area of Cleveland."
OO: What national artists have influenced you?
CN: "As mentioned earlier, Ellis Paul has been a huge influence. His approach to songwriting is masterful and he is quite the wordsmith. I have also been influenced by Don Conoscenti and Glen Phillips. Phillips use to front the band Toad The Wet Sprocket in the mid to late 1990's."
OO: Ever play with any of them in concert?
CN: "I would have loved to play with Toad The Wet Sprocket. I think that Glen Phillips, the group's primary songwriter, did a great job of writing folk songs, but also presenting them in popular music format. In my opinion, they were a great band."
OO: Anyone from Ohio catch your ear like that?
CN: " have split many shows with many artists. I love playing shows with Will Cheshier, Brent Kirby and G.S. Harper. We try to act as a songwriter community and share audiences in an attempt to cross-market our music."
OO: Onto the disc. Where was "Picture Show" cut?
CN: "Strangelove Recording Studio in Lakewood. The producer, Veronica Darby, had worked with engineers there previously and she felt strongly about doing the project there. She was right. Adam Probert runs Strangelove Recording and they did a fantastic job."
OO: How would you characterize the sound on the disc?
CN: "The music I play is very close to me. I write stories and put music to them. I rarely have an outcome in mind when I begin writing, I just let the characters in the songs dictate the direction. Sometimes they are stories with happy endings, other times they are a more difficult outcome for the characters. That is the essence of folk music, story telling."
OO: Favorite Ohio venue?
CN: "Since the Brick Alley Theatre closed down a few years ago, the Barking Spider on Case Western Reserve University campus has re-emerged as the primary acoustic venue in the region. I love playing there"
OO: Long term plans?
CN: "I really plan on continuing to play music anywhere I can. I love playing totally acoustic with no sound at all. I can play on the street, in a club, at a coffeehouse, anywhere really. That is the beauty of acoustic music. I would also like to market my songs to the film and t.v. industry. I am working with TAXI to accomplish that goal. They are the world's leading independent Artist & Repertoire company. Since 1992, TAXI has specialized in giving artists, bands and songwriters real access to the people in the music business who have the power to sign deals."
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Peanuts is a longtime Ohio music critic and writer.
Contact Peanuts




- OHIO Online


Chris Nekvinda Releases Solo Album
Picture Show Set for Release

Cleveland, OH, November 24—Singer/songwriter Chris Nekvinda is releasing his new album, Picture Show, on Friday, December 3 at the Arabica University Circle. Street Date is Tuesday, December 7 but advance copies are available upon request. Admission is free for the all ages show and Nekvinda will have a full band backing him, although he is proud to call the show TFA (Totally Freakin’ Acoustic), meaning no sound system. That and the fact that he performs barefoot are what make this artist unique. Opening the show is G.S. Harper, formerly of Hayshaker Jones.

The acoustic collection of ten songs, produced by Veronica Darby, immediately stamps Nekvinda as one of the premier storytellers in the Midwest, and possibly beyond. Nekvinda’s music is melodic, introspective and captivating, and the stories in his songs are the “pictures” that make up Picture Show, which is certain to put him on the music industry’s radar. In addition, he summoned some fine musical talent to play on the record, including G.S. Harper (vocals and guitar), Bill Lestock (mandolin and violin), Mark Bradbourne (percussion), and Veronica Darby (accordion) and songwriter, Don Conoscenti.

The Cleveland-based Nekvinda began his music career at the age of eight. During college, Nekvinda played in duos and trios and some full bands, in dorm stairwells, campus bars, and coffeehouses everywhere and built a small army of devoted fans who knew the lyrics to all of his songs. He even boasts that adoring female fans threw their panties at him. As Nekvinda’s songwriting matured, so did his taste in what influenced him, including Toad the Wet Sprocket, Lowen and Navarro, and Ellis Paul. He has had the opportunity to play some shows with Ellis, who has taught him a trick or two he’s never forgotten, as well as to let Nekvinda play guitar on his track, “The World Ain’t Slowin Down,” which was in the major motion picture Me, Myself and Irene.

But Nekvinda’s association with Ellis Paul and another acclaimed songwriter, Don Conoscenti, doesn’t end there. The three collaborated on a song called “Drink Another Round,” which not only is on Picture Show, but on a few of Conoscenti’s releases. Nekvinda first discovered the East Coast songwriting scene while an intern at the American Shakespeare Festival in New Hampshire. When he returned to Cleveland, he founded the brick alley theatre with producer Veronica Darby in 1998. The brick was an intimate live performance space that hosted acoustic music, theatrical productions, and comedy. Many songwriters played there while the pair operated the club, and they collaborated with many.

At the brick alley, Nekvinda began a Songwriter’s Forum, and a Songwriter’s in the Round series, which continues a songwriting community tradition from the East Coast open mics that he attended. During Folk Alliance 2000, Nekvinda continued to work behind the soundboard for many artists.

Through it all, Nekvinda remains humble, accessible and sincere. “My performances are filled with thoughtful songs,” he says. “I'll take my guitar out of its case and play on your couch.”

For more information, please visit www.chrisnekvinda.com
- Sound Image Artist Management


Discography

PICTURE SHOW (2004)
People Like You (2002)

Photos

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Bio

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